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- Publié sur Amazon.com
About twice the pages of her mother's "A Taste of Sicily," Fabrizia's new book is lovely, presenting a wonderful new set of recipes, beautifully photographed, many of them. She has adopted her mother's approach of building her story around the change of seasons at Regaleali, where almost everything one eats is from the estate or nearby sources, often Vallelunga. Fabrizia is successfully taking A T Lanza's cooking school into a new era, reaching out in new directions and capturing new interest in her own, in particular, and in Sicilian cuisine in general. She joins her mother, Mary Simeti, and the Tornabenes as the small set of advocates to the international stage of the merits and joys of the Sicilian table.
One of the things that sets this book apart is the vignettes about her family, staff, and so many others that attend to the annual cycles and rituals on the estate and nearby. I had quite a laugh at her recounting of her dad's (Vinces) reactions to some of A T Lanza's and Fabrizia's cuisine at Mondello. As I read through this savouringly, I suspect there to be many more good laughs.
Another thing I find engaging is that there is no apparent rhyme or reason for the order of presentation of recipes within a season; although, within a season, she does break out various subgroups, such as sheeps' milk cheeses. In the flow of recipes, one might study tacchino ripieno, and then be reading about panierini gelatina, and then be stroking the photograph and slavoring over the recipe for profiteroles. Not the standard cookbook antipasti, primi, paste, carne, verduri, dolci type organization. It keeps the fun factor up, not knowing what's coming next.
Anyone who has had the pleasure and privilege of living or spending more than a few days in Sicily will love this book. It is an obvious holiday season gift for all of your foodie friends and family.
Well done - beautifully done, Fabrizia. And, yes, if one has the chance to spend time at Case Vecchie, absolutely, do not hesitate. And enjoy the Regaleali wines, TOO!
Clearly to a reader of this review, this is a very personal book. Many of the recipes are of Fabrizia's favorites over many years, within the family even for generations. The selection is quite different from her mom's choices in her books. But, oooohhhhh myyyy, those recipes and the mind's eye's tasting.... I even picked up an idea that I will try out this Christmas. Instead of using the typical salt and sugar for brining a heritage turkey, I will try her technique of using only H2O, bay leaves, and lemon zest. I have never really thought well of the saltiness, however mild it may be, in the meat; I want the taste of the meat, not salt.
Sicilian cuisine is the lesser known step-child, lagging way behind Tuscan and northern Italian cuisines in the American consciousness. As her US admirers grow in number, this reviewer hopes to see a sea change in that situation. Many dozens of the finest chefs and restauranteurs in the US have spent time there, but their geographic influence is still far from universal. As the health food craze gathers steam, Sicilian should be right in the ring, fighting for everyone's attention and practice.